Becky Hammon expected to be in mix for Pistons job

NBA.com Global on May 19, 2018 07:30 AM
Becky Hammon expected to be in mix for Pistons job
Becky Hammon, San Antonio Spurs assistant coach

NBA.com staff report

San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon was reportedly on the radar of the Milwaukee Bucks during their coaching search. Although Milwaukee ultimately hired former Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, it doesn't mean Hammon's chances at another NBA coaching job are over.

The Detroit Pistons are one of three teams (the Orlando Magic and Toronto Raptors being the others) who are still seeking a coach this offseason. The Pistons parted ways with Stan Van Gundy on May 7 (May 8, PHL time) after he served as coach and team president for four years.

According to Rod Beard of The Detroit News, the Pistons are expected to interview Hammon as they begin their search for a new coach. Beard talked to several Pistons players, who seemed open to Detroit potentially becoming the first NBA team to hire a female coach:

Hammon, 41, is on the Pistons’ radar as they look to fill their coaching vacancy after parting ways with Stan Van Gundy last week. Hammon last week reportedly interviewed with the Milwaukee Bucks, who reached an agreement to hire Mike Budenholzer as their next coach Wednesday.

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Hammon’s name is one of the possible candidates mentioned for some of the three remaining vacancies for head NBA head coaches, with the Pistons, Orlando Magic and Toronto Raptors.

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“She is an interesting — and by all accounts, qualified — candidate,” a league source who declined to comment on specific coaching searches told The Detroit News. “She’s a legitimate candidate for a head-coaching job, alongside several other rising assistant coaches in the league.”

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Having a woman as a head coaches isn’t as controversial to the players as some of the national discussion would suggest.

“I’m not sure how others would receive it and I understand it may be a transition that would have its own challenges, but I just want the best person for the job,” Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson said.

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“I wouldn’t have an issue with it at all,” Pistons forward Anthony Tolliver said. "It would take some getting used to at first but as long as she knows what she’s doing, guys would respond just fine."

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich hired Hammon to the Spurs coaching staff in 2014, making her the first female full-time assistant in the NBA.

Hammon, a six-time WNBA All-Star, also made history in 2015 when she became the first female coach in NBA Summer League, guiding the Spurs to a Las Vegas championship.

Hammond played 16 years in the WNBA and was All-WNBA First Team twice and the All-WNBA Second Team twice in her playing career. She was also named one of the WNBA’s Top 15 Players of All Time in July of 2011.

Beard also reports that former Pistons star Jerry Stackhouse could be in the running for the job as well. He has served as the coach of the Toronto Raptors' G League team, the Raptors 905, since 2016-17, and is also an assistant for the parent club as well. He was named G League coach of the year in 2016-17 and led the team to a title that season, too.

Hammon, 41, would be the fourth Spurs assistant to interview for a coaching job this spring. James Borrego, Ettore Messina and Ime Udoka have already interviewed for several openings. Borrego was hired as the Charlotte Hornets' new coach on May 10 (May 11, PHL time).

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